tv St. Louis Passengers and the Holocaust CSPAN August 12, 2014 9:10pm-10:46pm EDT
with a look at jewish history. part of american history tv programs normally seen weekends here on c-span3. coming up, the voyage of the st. louis, a ship full of nearly 900 german jews trying to escape the nazis. they were denied entrance into the u.s. and author scott miller talks about what happened when they returned to europe. then history professor jonathan ray on what it took for jews to assimilate into u.s. culture in the progressive era. that's falloyed by holocaust survivor marcel drimer on his family's efforts to stay together in nazi occupied poland during world war ii. in the weeks following the normandy invasion, allied forces moved to drive the germans out of the peninsula and begin the liberation of notsa occupied france. wednesday at 8:00 p.m., john macmanus talks about the challenges facing the allies, including the liberation of the
crossroads town of san low. >> bradley's concept of the heels of this failure is to redouble his efforts to take st. lowa, which you see in the middle of our map. san low is not a new objective for the americans. they hoped to have it a lot sooner than this. the reason it's important and you'll notice this by just a glance of the map, every road, practically every road in normally leads there. it's a crossroads town. it was a market town dating back to ancient times. not a big place, but a kind of a communication and transportation and market center for normand culture. it had been invaded many times because it was valuable for these reasons. it had been in1r5ied by romans, by kings, by napoleonic armies, you nade it. the germans in 1940. and all of those invaders in the
old days had wanted what invaders throughout history had generally wanted, plunder. you know, stuff. domnash domnas domination, power, women. whatever, the americans come in 1944, they don't want any of those things. they want to liberate the town, as they see it. so what's supremely ironic and tragic, the most benevolent of invaders do more damage arguably than all the others combined. the allied air forces had bombed on d-day. why? because it'scrossroads and it would be the natural place the germans would use. this creates ruins and killed many french civilians who are certainly caught in the middle of all this. and of course, as the push for san lowe will mature to a major ground battle, it will lead to more ground destruction, leading one u.s. army soldier to say
after the battle with sort of awe and sorrow in his voice, we lib ralted the hell out of this place. >> that's part of an hour-long program with author john macmanus describing in detail the challenges facing allied forces in liberating occupied france. american history tv's focus on world war ii, wednesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, 5:00 pacific. now, the story of the st. louis, a ship full of german jews fleeing the third reich. in 1939, nearly 900 people were refused entry into the united states after sailing so close to miami they could see the city lights. scott miller talks about his book "refuge denied" st. louis passengers and the holocaust, and what happened to them when they returned to europe. he's joined by other scholars and a survivor of the holocaust who was a passenger on the trip. this is an hour and a half.
thank you. can you all hear me? great. first of all, i want to thank the jewish museum of florida for hosting this venue, for inviting me. and i'm here today really to talk about an unsolved mystery that hovered over america for over 60 years. and that is whatever became of the passengers who sailed on the 1939 ill-fated voyage of the st. louis. late may, early june 1939, really the unthinkable happened. the ship carries over 900 jewish refugees fleeing nazi germany were first denied entry into the port of havana in cuba and then denied entry into this country, into the united states, after sailing very close to the shores of miami beach. so tantalizingly close that the passengers could see the palm
trees and the hotels and it's always very meaningful for me to speak about this event right here in miami beach, where my understanding is that it was actually very close to south beach, so it's very close to where we are right now, the scene of the crime, so to speak. and we at the holocaust museum had some unfinished business with this story. we wanted to know what became of the passengers, one by one by one. for us, the saga of the st. louis was not a story about a ship. it was a story about passengers. it was a story about people. there were 937 passengers onboard the st. louis, which meant that the st. louis was not one story. it was 937 stories. and not just stories but consequences. that there were 937 individual consequences to this ship being sent back. we also wanted to take on this project to trace the fate of all the passengers because after all, when you think about it,
the story of the st. louis is the place where holocaust history and american history intersect. and in the case of us in this room, it's also local history. it's miami beach history. so where else but the holocaust museum in washington this nation's memorial, the national memorial to the victims of the holocaust, who else would take on such an america related holocaust story? the other reason we wanted to trace the fate of the passengers was simply the thrill of the chase, the challenge. could we find out what happened all 937 passengers onboard the st. louis? so the st. louis set sail from germany on may 13th, 1939. again, as ied, six months after chris taand most of the passengs had american waiting numbers. 734 of the 937 passengers had
waiting numbers to get into the united states. as i'm sure you know, there were very strict immigration quotas. you had to get a number and wait. at that point in nazi germany, the situation was so dire that jews were willing to go anywhere in the world to wait for their number to come up. there were germans who went to shanghai, australia, south america, so those going toirw havana, cuba, were considered the lucky ones because they were going to only be less than an hour from miami beach. and those days, unlike today, you could go back and forth between cuba and the united states very, very easily. and the ironic part is that many, around 100 of the st. louis passengers, the men, had been in concentration camps and were released on condition they would leave the country, and they had to have a family member literally show the camp administration that they had a ticket to leave the country.
so around 100 st. louis passengers were actually inte interned and then released because it was thought that they were leaving, they would be leaving germany. and for most of the st. louis passengers. leaving germany of course was very bitter sweet. it was sweet because they were leaving, but it was bitter because germany for the overwhelming majority of the passengers was home for many, many generations. and as you could see from the photo in front of you, the st. louis was part of the hamburg america line, the passengers paid not only for passage, but they paid for landing permits in cuba so they could wait there legally until their american waiting number came up. and for most of the passengers, it was, for all intents and purposes, it was a cruise. especially for the children. there were many children onboard. if you look at the row of boys in front, the second from your left is actually in the room today.
it's herb karliner. if you know herb, you can tell. and i think to herb's left is his brother walter. is that walter? and you'll have a chance to hear herb in a couple minutes. and also, for the adults, there was, you know, shuffleboard and all types of, you know, activities onboard. the passengers thought they were going to freedom. they had a captain of the ship, gustav schroder, treated the passengers with respect. he told his crew, a rather large crew, many who were members of the nazi party, that these passengers were germans and they paid for their tickets and they're to be treated like any other germans. for a jew to hear that sentence in 1939 germany that they're germans and to be treated like any other germans was quite extraordinary. on may 27th, at long last, the
st. louis arrives in the port of havana, and the ship is met by police boats, where they are told that they could not land yet. they would be able to disembark tomorrow. there was some delay in the process. but as it turns out, the st. louis passengers were not allowed to disembark. they had landing permits, which were sold to them by a really a corrupt cuban counselor official benitez who pocketed a lot of money, and the permits were really supposed to be for tourists, not really for refugees, but so the cuban government was closing this loophole right when the st. louis was approaching havana. the st. louis passengers could not disembark. the only passengers who could disembark where 22 jewish passengers who back in cuba actually paid $500, and then
that was a lot of money, $500 for actual legal cuban visas signed by the cuban secretary and laborer. the overwhelming majority of st. louis passengers were told that their landing permits were no good. there was also a couple of days before the st. louis set sail, a massive rally in cuba, i believe there were 40,000 people there, which was sort of a pro-fascist, xenophobic rally. they had a refugee policy, and the tides were turning against immigration. government against benitez and the growing sentiment, anti-immigrant sentiment in cuba, the timing of the st. louis, a rather large ship, almost 1,000 passengers, was quite unfortunate. so many of the st. louis passengers had -- some had relatives living in havana and
the statue of liberty. miami was so close to cuba. and also, based on the technicality that the overwhelming majority of passengers had waiting numbers to get into the united states. it was just a matter of letting them in a little bit early. but that was not to happen, as they approached the shores of miami beach, and again, they came so close, right here, to south beach. they tellegramed president roosevelt, the children wrote letters to eleanor roosevelt, and they telegramed the state department that was in charge of immigration and visa distribution. the passengers heard back only from the state department, from mr. a.m. warren, who was in charge of the visa division, and in the telegram, it said that mr. warren said that the st. louis passengers, though they had waiting numbers, would have to wait their turn until the numbers came up and would have to leave american waters.
so that sort of closed the door on the st. louis, the state department telegram. and just for a second to anticipate some of the questions, if you were going to ask about president roosevelt, who, again, this was primarily a state department issue, but the question has come up, couldn't president roosevelt, who was a rather powerful, persuasive president, have issued an executive order init technically what was legal for the passengers to come to the united states based on bureaucracy, but could there have been an executive order. the answer is yes, of course, there could have been. there would have been some consequences. try to look at it in context at that time. at that time, he wads trying to modify the neutrality act, anticipating american involvement in world war ii, and it was felt that if the president was perceived as trying to do anything specifically for jews at a time when anti-semitism was at its
height in the united states and during the depression, it would not serve the greater good of trying to modify the neutrality act. it was believed if the passengers were let in, it could possibly be at the expense of other refugees who had waiting numbers or it was a fear that it would encourage other ships to circumvent american paolicy and just sail up to the united states. so clearly, it was not courageous of president roosevelt not to issue an executive order, but in a contextual way, and there's been a lot written about the topic in the last couple years, some would say it's understandable. from a contextual way. then again, i think of the passengers on the st. louis right there, who had waiting numbers to get in right off the shores of miami beach. so it was a very, very complicated and heart wrenching situation. anyway, the ship did have to go back to europe. halfway through the journey
back, you could imagine, there was mass panic on the ship. there were rumors of suicide if the ship had to go back to germany. but due to a deal brokered, initiated by the american jewish joint distribution committee and four western european countries other than germany, belgium, holland, france, and england, they would not have to go back to hamburg. they would go to brussels -- excuse me, to antwerp, and be disbursed there between belgium, france, holland, and england. on june 17th, w when the st. los passengers disembarked, that was considered the happy ending to the story. of course, with the hindsight, historical hindsight, which is always 20/20, we know it's not a happy ending, because three of the four countries by the mid-1940 were invaded by the germans. so to be a jew in any one of those countries was the same intents and purposes being a jew in germany. the same thing, facing
discrimination, eventual deportation. so the st. louis passengers you could say were double crossed, literally having to double cross the ocean, and figuratively double crossed because they thought they were going to freedom, and they were then rejected by two other nations. so fast forward to the late 1980s. i believe it was 1989, which was the 50th anniversary of the st. louis, we hear about a st. louis passenger named herbert karliner in miami beach, who is trying to find other passengers for a reunion. so based on herb's work, all before the internet, and anything -- any modern search engines we have now, i believe there were around 40 or 50 st. louis passengers. so when we began our search in the mid-1990s, still before the internet, this was all we knew, was this list that herb had compiled, and the assumption was
those were the lucky fee who survived the war, but we went on our mission then to determine the fate of all 937. we started in our own archives at the holocaust museum. excuse me. sorry about that. we did have a copy of the shipping -- one of the lists of passengers. this was a list put together by the american-jewish joint distribution committee as they were disbursing them between the four western european countries, so at least we had the names of every st. louis passenger. their ages, and what country they were sent to. on the right, you can see it says belgium, holland, france, england. at least we knew the very, very basic information. we then went to what are called the memorial books and also the deportation lists which we have at the holocaust museum, and within a very short time, we were able to find the names of well over 200 st. louis passengers who were deported
from the very lands to which they were sent, france, belgium, and holland, who were deported to auschwitz. and though intellectually, we knew we would find the names of st. louis passengers on the death lists, still, each time you found the name of somebody you knew was off the coast of miami beach and ends up on a deportation list, was quite -- was quite shocking. and we also had a number of photos and tried to collect photos of families who were killed as well. so we would have a human face to these names. this is an extended family who was on the st. louis. their name was dublone, two brothers, eric and willy, and this is on the voyage to america. what you see in front of you, how happy they look. they're even sort of dressed up. they're on a cruise, and they ended up back in brussels where they were deported to auschwitz where they were all murdered,
the entire family. and we received, in fact, a photo from a man in malibu, california, who is from germany, the same town the dublones were from, who grew up, you see in the middle, the little girl, laurie, he grew up with her. her childhood boyfriend, and he sent us this photo. laurie is one of the girls on the side. it's a little sort of kindergarten sort of pageant and party. it's very, very heartbreaking. laurie was murdered at auschwitz. after looking in the deportation records, we walked across the mall in washington to the national archives. i'm sure many of you have done family research, and we looked for immigration records to the united states to see if any of the st. louis passengers either during the war or survived the war, were able to make their way to the united states. we would have the shipping record, and surely, we found the names of hundreds of st. louis
passengers who either during or after the war, happily or not happily, but we're happy to find they made their way to the united states. we found the documentation. so then when we added up the numbers from the deportation records and added up the numbers from the immigration records, we were still close to 300 short. there were still 300 unaccounted for st. louis passengers whose names did not appear on the basic deportration records or on the basic immigration records. we looked at deportation records in europe and israel as well. we were quite thorough, but still there were a few hundred unaccounted for st. louis passengers. it's at this point that we changed our whole plan, our whole strategy, from instead of looking for documents, we decided to go out and look for people. not just depend on documents who could tell us what happened to
the unaccounted for st. louis passengers but real people. we knew there were people out there throughout the entire world who could tell us what happened to the missing passengers. it was just a matter of finding them. and again, i stress this was in the dark ages of the mid-1990s before all the social media and everything we have today. when i go out and talk about this with kids, high school skids, junior high school kids and i ask them if you want to look for information about people from 60 years ago and want to reach as many people as possible very quickly, what do udo, where do you go? of course, you can imagine, facebook, twitter, and every time i speak to a group, there's a new technology i have never heard of the time before. i have to, again, tell the students that back in the dark ages of the 1990s, none of this existed. and by the way, even though it exists today, you still have to do traditional research. those tools, social media greatly enhances research, but it's not in place of traditional research. we didn't have it at our disposal in the mid-1990s.
so what we did to reach people, we did it the old-fashioned way. the old-fashioned way means not social media, but media media. real media, newspapers, radio, television. that's what holocaust survivors did. not television, but radio and media, after world war ii. they pud ads in newspapers in search of german jews and most of the st. louis passengers were german jews, put ads, for example, in a german-jewish newspaper. so we many, many years later decided to take that same tact, knowing of course, even if someone survived the war, they might not be alive 50, 60 years later to provide us the information we were looking for. the very first newspaper where we published an ad was a small german language newspaper punlished in tel aviv called israel -- the israel news or the jewish news. because remember, this is
primarily a german-jewish saga. and we printed an ad in the paper that listed all of the missing st. louis passengers. and it said above the list, if anybody has information on the following unaccounted for passengers of the st. louis, please contact scott miller at the holocaust museum, and it gave my address, fax, phone, and e-mail. and i have to be honest, i was quite dubious about this. i had no training with media. i didn't think this type of stuff really worked. anyway, on this list of 300 missing st. louis passengers was a family of three. there was a father named monford fink, a mother, and a 5-year-old boy, michael finke. we had a trail of evidence that the fink family was, when the st. louis was sent back to europe, they were sent to holland. in holland, they were interned in a camp, and then we had
documentation showing they were deported to check losloshauv yeah, and then the clues ended cold. these are one of the names we had in our head because they had a 5-year-old little boy, little michael finke. anyway, i get to work on the day that our ad is published in israel. i didn't even know what day it was published and i'm going through e-mails and i see i have an e-mail from israel. dear mr. miller, my name is mikhail, but in 1939, my name was michael finke. i was 5 years old. i think you're looking for me. and i -- he said he lived in a suburb of tel aviv and could i call him, which i did right away. and he told me he was expecting this call and we asked him to tell us his name and his parents name to verify dates of birth and everything, and it all matched. i said, can you tell me your story? how did you survive?
first of all, two things i want to tell you. one, only my mother survived and she died six months earlier. michael was a little boy, so she was the one who would have had the real memory, and his father, he said, died literally just of illness as he was being put on a cattle cart to auschwitz. he just died. that's what we were told. he never made it. he said my father was off the coast of miami beach and died on a cattle car to auschwitz. how did this happen, mr. miller? then he said to me, in hebrew, that america -- that america bears the burden for the responsibility for the death of my father. he told me afterwards that he and his mother were liberated by the soviets and then first he was sent and then his mother accompanied him, joined him in palestine. he was sent on a clandestine immigration because there was a british blockade for immigrants
to palestine, which is why there was no record of him, because the whole idea of a clandestine immigration is that there are no real records, and he said then his mother came to israel and they changed their name in 1948 from fink to barak. so he said you know, you're looking for the right person but the wrong name. michael finke hasn't existed 1948. so that was the story of just one -- actually of three st. louis passengers. i have a few more minutes. so i'll quickly, i'm going to tell you just one more story using the media. but i just want to show you, that's michael finke in the middle, with his parents. that was taken in holland, you can see they dressed up for this photo. and right soon before they were deported. that's his really only memory of his father, his last memory of his father. in, i believe it was 1999, we were on npr.
and again, doing an interview about the search for the st. louis passengers. we're being interviewed by scott simon. scott simon said, actually, my colleague and co-author of my book, sarah ogilvie, he asked sarah to just stop and tell one story. we didn't have time to tell the stories of all the people we were looking for. she told the story of rudy dingfelder. she said he was on the st. louis with his parents, leopold and joanna. they were deported to auschwitz, all three of them. the parents were gassed upon arrival, but perhaps rudy survived because we found a document in the holocaust museum showing that he was chosen as a forced laborer, as a tool maker at auschwitz. maybe he survived, maybe he didn't survive. and somebody was driving to work in el paso, texas, and heard us on npr and called us and said i don't know if i can really help you. my wife had a distant relative
she talked about surviving auschwitz as a tool maker. that's all i can tell you. we got a lot of phantom st. louis passengers. they called with information, but they weren't on the st. louis. this guy calls back a few days later and said i am going to put my wife on the phone. the wife said i had a relative who survived as a tool pmaker. his name was robert felder. he died around 20 years ago, but his widow, geraldine, is still alive. she lives in detroit. we called mrs. felder on the phone and said, mrs. felder, was your husband robert felder? your late husband robert felder? she said, yes. we said, was he also rudy dingfelder who tried to come to america on the st. louis? she said, yes, that's my husband. yes. really an incredible story. we asked her, did rudy ever tell you -- or robert, she called him robert, how he survived in auschwitz. she said there were two things. when the train arrived in
auschwitz and the camp guards came and literally pulled people off the train, when rudy's parents then were sent to be gassed, rudy wore glasses. he was a teenager, 15 years old, but his glasses went flying, and he was sort of -- he had very poor eye sight, he was flailing around, but because of the stereotype that you're weaker if you wear glasses, every teenager with glasses was sent to the line to be gassed, but because his glasses went flying, he was sent to the line for forced labor. just a matter of luck. and he had the presence of mind to say that he could worka as a tool maker. that's in fact how he survived in auschwitz. she gave the holocaust museum this photo, and that's rudy in the middle. you can see him with his glasses. looks a lot older than 15, i think, in that photo, but there's rudy with his glasses. and also given to us, at the holocaust museum, was this very, very important artifact.
you might say it's just a napkin, and true, it is a napkin, but it's a napkin with a story. when the dingfelder family disembarked in antwerp, rudy's father really wanted to be sent to england because he had a brother there. if you could look at it, for those of you who read german or don't read german, a lot of words are obvious. the top line says leopold dingfelder. he didn't even have a piece of paper. he's asking to go to england. and if you go to his daish the fourth line, because his brother carl j. felder of cleveland ohio, there in german in england, could we please be sent to england. sadly, though, they were sent to holland, where they ended up being deported and only rudy survived. how much time do i have? five minutes. okay. so we also, i don't want to give you the impression we just went to the media and found everyone. we didn't.
we also went to try to retrace the steps physically, geographically of some of the st. louis passengers. we went to brussels where there were many st. louis passengers living, and that's a photo from the old jewish refugee neighborhood. there was a gestapo census of the jewish population in 1941 in brussels, so we had all the addresses of the st. louis passengers and in some cases we even had telephone numbers. you don't think of that. anyway, we had the addresses so we went back to the very buildings where st. louis passengers lived in brussels. this was around 1999, the year 2000. the old jewish refugee neighborhoods thinking there might be someone still there. who remembers what happened to their former neighbors 50 years ago. but in fact, whileander li ande a jewish neighborhood, it's still a refugee neighborhood, there were women in burqas, people were extremely friendly,
but nobody could help us with clues to what happened to people in that neighborhood 50 years ago. at that point, we realized when you're doing research about jews from the 20th century, we realize it's not where you're from, it's where you went to because it's the century of immigration. we focused on israel and the united states, away from europe back to destinations where jews went to, and in the name of brevity, i'll focus on, as you can tell, a guest here in new york, the city that i myself am from. we went to the new york public library and looked at old telephone books in the new york public library. remember, when i explain to kids, there was no whi whitepages.com back then. even so, i don't think you have it for the 1940s and 1950. you still have to go to telephone books, which maybe by now are dejatized. that didn't exist then. i started with manhattan and looking for names of st. louis passengers with manhattan addresses. within mninutes, i found the
names of dozens of passengers. i didn't know if they were the same people, but poom with the same names. i noticed an address pattern. if there's any new yorkers in the room, you know what my next sentence will be. they were all addresses on the upper, upper, upper west side between 70th street and 110th street. for those new yorkers above my age and older, you know that that's washington heights, which was for many, many years into the 1960s, the center of german jewelry. it was the largest german-jewish community after world war ii, so much so it was call ed frankfur on the hudson. i grew up close to that neighborhood, and it never occurred to me in the research to look there for clues. i was very excited at the new york public library. i got on the a train, went up to 181st street, got out, and similar feeling as in the refugee neighborhoods in brussels. very, very different. still a refugee neighborhood, but the demographics changed.
primarily a dominical neighborhood. didn't hear much german, but we heard a lot of spanish. however, there were still a number of synagogues in existence in the neighborhood. i went to one of them, and making in the name of time, you could ask more questions during the q & a about washington height, the synagogue administrator pulled out of a shoe box that was in an attic old membership records and deceased members records from the synagogue. and within minutes, we found the names of st. louis passengers who had passed through the neighborhoods or relatives paying for perpetual care of the graves. within a year, going through the five synagogues that exists 10 years ago and 14 years ago and the social service agencies for holocaust survivors, we were able to unravel the fate of dozens and dozens of st. louis passengers who had passed through this neighborhood. one of the women we met was a woman named ilsa marcus, the
second woman from the left. she was on the st. louis with her husband, newlywed husband, she joked this was their honeymoon, and parents and uncle, and she was the only one who survived. they were all killed at auschwitz. she still lived in washington heights. she just died a couple years ago and she shared many stories with us, and really, wherever we go, wherever i go around the country, i meet st. louis passengers, i was speaking in the san francisco public library around ten years ago, and a man comes up to us and said my name is earnest wild, i was a child on the st. louis. he gave us his photo. i wouldn't have necessarily recognized him from the photo. that's him with the cool shades, and the girl sticking her tongue out, i think herb, those are your sisters. and herb will talk about them. and earnest said, i want to know what happened to my best friend. we were in a children's home in france together. we got separated. everyone knows horace because he
always played the harmonica. sadly, he was one of the first names we found. he was deported in early 1943. from the children's home. he was caught to auschwitz where he was gassed upon arrival, but we had a picture of horst in our archive. you can guess which one is horst. got that in december 1942. he was deported a month later. anyway, two minutes? one minute? okay. so after -- after over a decade of searching, we were able to determine the fate of all 937 passengers of the st. louis. here's a group photo of a lot of the children onboard the st. louis. much to our surprise, the majority of st. louis passengers survived the war. it was always believed by survivors and scholars that the majority were killed. but the fact that most of them survived the war, in my opinion, does not diminish from the tragedy.
it accentuates the tragedy. why did the most survive? remember i said many had waiting numbers? over 700 had waiting numbers to get into the united states. that shifted the balance in favor of survival for this particular group of jews in jurep because their waiting numbers started coming up in '39, '40, '41. a large number were able to get out, with difficulty, dealing often with anti-semitic counsel officials, but they were able to get out. 254, most were murders. they had waiting numbers also. perhaps their waiting numbers were coming up as they were on the trains as well. so they really, even using bureaucracy, there was a mechanism to save all of these passengers. it was always assumed that we will never know really what happened to the st. louis passengers. so the holocaust museum hopes that in this doing this project, discovering the fates of all the passengers, we have rescued their individual stories from historical oblivion and we hope
the passengers, those who survived and those who died now have their memorial. so that's the story of the united states holocaust memorial museum search for passengers. i hope i did not speak too fast. i'm going to hand over the mike to oren. [ applause ] >> i'd like to invite our panelists now to come up and sit at the panelist table while i introduce them. so mr. herb karliner -- [ applause ] i'm so thrilled to have mr mr. karliner here. as you know, he was born in germany. he was a passenger on the ms
st. louis. and after the ship returned to europe, mr. karliner ended up in france. his whole family was sent to auschwitz death camp in poland. with the help of a jewish to auschwitz camp. he survived the remainder of the war in hiding. in 1947 he came to the united states. and he's going to be the first panelist speaking about his experience. would you like to introduce our other panelist now as well and invite them to join us up here and then we'll have them speak one by one. the second panelist is dr. margalit bejarano. she's professor amerrittous of spanish at the university of jerusalem and director of the oral history division at the avran harmen of jerusalem. she is the author and co-editor
of books that are also for sale. and dr. frank mora is director of the latin american center and with fiu. he was the director deputy of defense. he's taught at the national war college and at rhodes college. dr. mora is the author of five books, including latin american and caribbean foreign policy, and u.s.-latin american relations and pra guy and the united states, distant alleys and book chapters and security and civil military relations and latin american political economy and integration. >> that's all?
>> that's all. dr. mora is the recipient of the secretary of defense medal for exceptional public service in 2012. each will speak for a few minutes and then we'll open the >> hello. my name is herbert karliner and i was born in germy, close to the polish border. and i don't have to tell you what happened. my father went down to the store and screamed that somebody broke into the store and when we went downstairs the store was completely destroyed. the window -- the glass was completely -- completely broken.
and police came and told us to clean the street of the glass and somebody came and told us the synagogue is burning. my father and myself went to the synogogue and sure enough there was a bon fire and threw prayer books in there and my father was trying to retrieve it but they wouldn't let him. they kicked him around and we had to go back home. then the gestapo came and picked up my father. and the only one -- the only way to get him out from buring ard was to smoe some paper -- to show some paper that we'll leave germany in the next three months. we had to wait.
the only place open was china. so we got permits to go to china. my father came out after three weeks and i didn't recognize him. the cuban counsel in hamburg, germany, were selling permits to cuba and so we got permits to cuba. and we left germany in 1939 on the st. louis, may 13. [ inaudible ] our 75th anniversary that we left cuba. the voyage -- cuba was wonderful, especially for us kids. i've never been on a big ship, i'd never been in the ocean. but for my parents it was very
difficult to start a life again. we were four children. two sisters, a brother and myself. we arrived in havana, we got our suitcases ready in front of the doors and the police came up and said we have to check your papers. we waited for one day, to -- two days. the first word i learned in spanish was manana. but manana never came. they negotiated with the cuban government to let us in. they wanted to give them a million, or $2 million, and if they gave them $2 million, they wanted $4 million. and finally they couldn't raise no more money and the cubans told us to get out. and the captain was a hell of a
nice guy. he said we can make a course to florida and maybe somebody will let us in. we sent a telegraph to president roosevelt and didn't get no answer, to mrs. roosevelt and behalf of the children of the ship and didn't get any answer. sent letters to canada, central america, nobody wanted us in. let me tell you the truth. i happened to see miami beach when i was 12 years old from the ship. an i was very impress -- and i was very impressed and i said to myself, i would like to live here some day. well it took me a long way to get around there. the coast guard came and chased us away from miami and we had to go back to europe. i found out later that 300
families that said we're not going back to germany, we're going to jump ship before they let us in. when the captain heard that, he went to see the committee we had on the ship and promised us that he won't take us back to germany. he will scudle the ship before we get to germany. well two days before we arrived to germany, we found out that four countries wouldn't let us in. france, belgium, holland and england. my parents, my brother and sister came to france. we didn't know anybody there. and we came to col oin, france and there was a jewish organization that came on ship and they had children home in france and asked the families if they want to send the children
home. so my parents didn't know what to do with us. so they sent the two boys, my brother and myself to the children's home. we went outside of paris in [ inaudible ] and three months later the war broke out and the children were sent to central fran france, [ inaudible ]. and we got there -- excuse me. we got there and they said if not going to school, we have to go to work. because all of the men in the village were prisoners of war and there was an opening in the bakery. i didn't speak a whit of france but it had to work. i started to work there and i worked there for 2 1/2 years. then one day french police came
and picked me up, put me in a camp, but you have to have muscle in life. they took boys only over 16 years old and i was one week before my 16th birthday and they erased me. all of my friends over 16 were deported and never came back. right after this, the jewish organization gave us papers and we were traveling in france with papers. we went to southern france, we were going to go to spain. couldn't make it. we went to switzerland. we made it to switzerland. but we were caught and sent back to france because there were too many refugees in switzerland.
finally, i found a job in a small village near leon in a farm with a friend of mine, two boys. and the farmer asked us what kind of religion we were and i said catholic and he said you will go with us to church some day. as you can see, i have a stre strong -- a very strong german accent but my papers showed that i was born in [ inaudible ] where they spoke german and france and i got away with it. on sunday when i went to church for a day, my boss, i didn't know what to do, but i was smart enough, i went behind him and whatever he did, i did. and i got away with it too. i worked there for over a year and he was liberated by the
american army and i wanted to join the american army but the captain didn't believe me. he said, if you told me you are jewish, in german, you better go back to the organization that can watch for you. i went back to the organization to vouch for me but they asked me to work with them because they had thousands of children hidden in convents and by different catholics. we found many of them. but believe me when i tell you, there are still people living in france who are jewish and now they are catholic because the person who had the names on the list were arrested and deported and we haven't got the list of them. i came back to paris and france accepted 4 # 50 boys and the organization sent me there
because i spoke german, french, yiddish. and who was in that group there, ali advisel and the chief rabbi of israel, rabbi lao. i came here to the united states in 1947, and they sent me an affidavit and went to work in hartford, connecticut, and i met a friend -- i met a friend who had a car. they were going to miami. i said, can i go with you? they said sure. my dream came true. i came to miami, end of 1948. and my first job was in the cafeteria on 10th street and washington avenue. then i went and worked for a season in catskill mountains and
then all of a sudden i got a letter from uncle sam. i want you! in 1949 they didn't want me but in 1950 i was drafted to the army, passed my test of french and german and where do you think they sent me? i came back after two years service, i came back to miami beach and there was an opening at the farn blew hotel. and i never went to school. i didn't finish elementary school and i never went to bakery school. i learned from one baker to another and there was an opening in the bakery at the hotel.
they have good pastry chefs from france and switzerland and i got a job. i worked there for 12 1/2 years and i finished there as assistant pastry chef. afterward, i opened my own bake shop in north miami and i got married to a french girl, which was also from the organization from france. we were together, and i have two daughters and three grandchildren. i'm a very lucky guy. i worked hard in my life. but i'm lucky that i was not deported, like so many people in auschwitz and other countries, where they had nothing to eat and tried to survive. i thank you very much for listening to me. [ applause ]
>> mr. car liner was honored in miami for his contributions to american society, so thank you very much mr. karliner. and now margalit bethar ano. >> in cuba, the history of the holocaust, is the country that was through the way of jews and this was part of the story. there were other sides to it. mr. miller spoke about the illegal way the people were getting into cuba.
in cuba, there were two ways of entering it. legally, you had -- the official policy, it was almost impossible to get legal immigration in cuba. the demands were very complicated. money and also the procedure. about other hand -- on the other hand there was a way that was semi-legal. they were selling permits for $150 each. there were stories of passengers in transit. this was a semi legal way but it saved the life of almost 6,000 jews before the st. louis story. because legally it was --
beneath us, managed to sell many of the permits, and it is true that he became rich with it, but he also saved the lives of these people. now i would say that in cuba, bé÷ the government and the authority and i would ask who is interested to have the jews in and who was not interested. so we started from outside of cuba. germany wanted the jews out of germany and they wanted them to arrive in cuba and make a large performance of antisemitism against them and for this they sent secret agents to organize this anti-semitic campaign but they were sure in the end the cubans would let them in. because of money.
they knew they could buy the cubans. so germany was interested and the hamburg line was anti-semitic but they wanted to sell the tickets. so they were collaborating with bennettez who was interested to sell the permits to become rich. so all of these people were the bad guys, but the bad guys would also save the jus. now the good guys, the president wanted an honest and legal immigration policy. he grandson here, the secretary of state, he wanted the diplomatic service clean of corruption and he was very much pro-jewish but the people that were honest in the end turned out the jews. this is what happened -- in part of cuba.
and when the st. louis came in, the secretary of state [ inaudible ] said to the captain or to -- they protested that the germans are mocking the sovereignty of cuba, so they are mocking the sovereignty of cuba and they have to go away. and the germans said that the cubans are defending the -- offending the german flag in not letting the jews in. so we have a paradox. as if the germans wanted the passengers to land and the cubans didn't want them. which -- and the jews were victims of this diplomatic clash between the americans. the american embassy said they don't want to intervene in internal jewish problems but this is a lie because they knew
every five minutes -- they won't i don't know how many memorandum and now they are talking to this and they knew every five minutes what was going on and they didn't say a word to the cubans who were under their protection in order to change their policy. and they could have convinced the cubans. now in cuba, there was a division between the army people, bastista was the -- >> the strong man. >> no, not the strong man. >> the. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> the chief of staff. >> the chief of staff. and there was a confrontation between them all of the time. but it was behind the scenes. people didn't have to know about it. dmou batista was the -- now, batista was the man and there was a patient-client
relationship and it was part of cuban politics and batista got some of the money from bennettez, so he was interested in having the money but he wanted to be elected as president and since there was this anti-semitic campaign, he did everything to hide himself from the public to not appear as the defender of the jews which seemed at that time not to be popular. now the story is very complicated but i just -- apparently there was an ultimatum of 48 hours to get the money. but [ inaudible ] didn't want the passengers. but in the end, he was accepted to negotiate with a grandson and if all of the passengers would have paid the money, the deposit
according to the law, this came to about half a million. and they negotiated if this was legal. but batista apparently sent people -- sent army people to berneson asking for money for their own pockets, not the legal money that would be deputied with the government. and he was a jvc lawyer and he couldn't negotiate something or bribe something not legal. so he was ready to pay legally, but not illegal. and he evaded the army people. and my conclusion is batista realized he was not getting money out of it to his own pockets, he didn't care about the government receiving legally the money and he didn't want to be involved in something that was not popular. he pretended that he was sick. he didn't want to see anyone and
he was sick all of the time and he couldn't speak on the phone he was so sick. but in the end, he participated in a meeting in the house of the president and in this meeting, they decided not to receive the passengers. but what they did was, they said that there was an ultimatum, and they put the guilt on the barrenson. but there was a declaration that barrenson didn't comply with the ultimatum before the ultimatum finished -- by the time the ultimatum arrived. and barrenson was unable to see any of them. they made sort of an agreement behind his back. and it is interesting that both the german documents and the american documents, they used the same word, they accused him
of making a horse dealer. but both of them are using the same word of horse dealer, so i suppose someone in the cuban government leaked this explanation. now, so after they sent st. louis, until the end of september, 1940, there was no jewish immigration to cuba. no refugees could come in. but around september, batista was elected president so again all of this started because he was giving the director of immigration the possibility to gain a lot of money and about more than 5,000 jews entered from september 1940 until april of 1942. now in april 1942, batista declared he was president and cuba was in the war immediately
with the united states and they were afraid of german spies coming disguised as jewish refugees. in fact one german spy was executed and there were other cases of german spies that tried to appear like the jews. so there was a new decree that -- that passengers coming from nazi occupied countries are not allowed to enter cuba, but the jew -- the ones that were in cuba were allowed legally to stay until the end of the war. there were two ships in the high sea when this decree was published and they arrived in cuba and it could have been a second st. louis. but batista said that he was not accepting them. and but germany was not part of the business now.
there was no anti-semitic campaign or nothing but who put pressure on batista, the british and the american embassy. they put pressure on batista and after ten days of negotiation, he let the jewish refugees into the cuban ellis island and they lived there for eight months but they were living and they were saved. and this is a story that is not known, i think. i don't know but -- i think it could have been the second st. louis but they were rescued. and so i think that according to the jdc, between 11,000 and 12,000 jus were saved by coming to cuba. and they were saved thanks to the cooperation -- the corruption of the cubans. so the corruption saved their lives. that is a funny thing.
[ applause ] >> i'll be brief, i know many of you are anxious to ask questions and engage in the discussion. my task is to at least provide some context as to the situation in the united states during this time of the journey of the st. louis. i do just want to take 30 seconds, oren, to thank you and to say how delighted we are that the latin american caribbean center to be partnering with you, the jewish studies museum and we at lac are very committed to serving and reaching out to the many diverse communities here in south florida. and so in terms of the latin american community, the jewish community, we want to continue
examining the diversity in the region and supporting and sponsoring programs that are committed to examining history and to introduce the disciplinary approaches in which we try to reach out in these key overlapping constituency and groups in the community. okay. let me get into the context part. and i'm just going to look at what i think are four or five contextual variables to try to understand and explain the decision that was made in washington. one is that there is -- there was clearly a strong desire, a strong mood to remain neutral regarding european affairs in 1939. and anything that may have smacked as internationalism.
coupled, i think, with that, is a strong feeling or hostility towards immigrants and immigration. there was a poll taken a little before, i believe it was late 1938 and back then polls were -- the methodology wasn't ideal but the poll showed that 80% opposed relaxing restrictions on immigration. so this is part of the entractable political situation that frankly roosevelt and his administration found themself in at the time. that, again, remember was supported -- or i should say reinforced by the 1924 immigration act that placed restrictions. as well as three months before the journey, there was legislation before congress by
congressman wagner if i recall, that tried to facilitate and widen the quota of restrictions. that legislation did not pass the congress. so that is, i think, one part of the environment, the political and social environment that fdr simply was not in the mood to challenge at the time. the second variable, i think that is important, is that in 1938 there was -- important gains made by isolationists in congress that simply were very adamant about getting involved in anything in terms of european affairs. strong isolationist view. and another component, and these are all linked, is that in 1939
the president was considering an un-precedeprecedented third ter0 and he was politically being cautious on a number of issues, one of which was the issue of internationalism, and issue of immigration. in order to get a sense of the mood in the country, is that the country was still very much in the great depression. in fact, in 1938 there was, in fact, a backward trend in terms of the state of the economy. and many americans felt, and this again goes to the issue of immigration, felt that expanding the number of immigrants into the country would in a sense
take away the scarce jobs that were available at the time. so when one asks the question, could the president have signed an executive order and would that have -- legally couldliió) have done that? the answer is yes. the answer is yes. could he or would he or what was the political, social environment at the time considering politics, the election of 1938, the mood against immigrants, antisemitism, third term that he felt militated against signing off on an executive orderment and in the end, of course, he backed off. there are, as scott mentioned, a number of books that have been
published in recent years. one of them by -- i think it was saving jews by rosen, who looked at this problem and tried to explain the decisions that both roosevelt and the administration made in public as well as those that were made in private to deal with the issue of jewish immigration and the ship of the st. louis. [ applause ] thank you very much, dr. mora and to all of our panelists. i'm going to do something unique for a jewish audience, some of you are from miami and from the university, which is i'm going to only ask you to ask questions.
and the decision that follow this is one, which will begin at about 4:00. so please raise your hand if you have a question for one of the panelists. joann will have the microphone. hold your comments and we will take them next, after the first group of questions. the first question, please. and we'll try to get to as many of you as we can. >> in 1938 and '39, roosevelt [ inaudible ] and a lot of money went to the united states to support [ inaudible question ]. >> what's the question? >> some kind of church supported it in 1938 [ inaudible ].
so those that feared to death of the isolation, that is the reason why he backed off. but what i'm curious about, [ inaudible ] what was her rule in this -- what was her role on this? >> i do understand that she, in a sense, lobbied the president on this particular issue. how strong did she do it, i guess she wasn't successful, i don't know the answer to that question. but as you said initially in your comments, the political pressure and the fear, right, that he was going to do something that none of his predecessors had done which was to go for a third term could have been hurt if he had made
this exception, which is the way it was portrayed at the time. >> yes. >> and one of the things that you did not even touch on and you need to is my understanding and always been my understanding that the cuban government invited that ship to come to cuba, not one word was said about that. and then turned them away and i would like you to clarify that at this point. >> you did say -- >> the cuban government -- i would say the opposite. the ship st. louis, and i'm sure mr. miller can add something on this, this was organized by the german government, by the minister of poppagatta they wanted a large ship because the st. louis was not going regularly on the line from hamburg to havana. this was something unusual. they wanted and they organized
it for a long time, they wanted to show the world that germany was letting out the jews but the world doesn't want them and this was a propaganda of nazi, germany. and there is evidence that the germans had sent a lot of -- 15 agents and they paid in stations and newspapers, they hired people to do a lot of antisemitism because shortly after the st. louis story, suddenly all of the antisemitism disappeared. so it is -- it started on the very high level a few months before the st. louis, and then it disappeared. so this was really -- and i've been working on material from germany and sources from
america, sources from eng blish sources and the jvc, it is true that the cuban government didn't want the passengers but this was not an invitation of the cuban government. the cubon government was thought it was a pain in the neck to have the passengers. they didn't want the passengers. >> my question is for -- i'm intered as to -- i'm interested in the fate of people who paid more money and stayed in havana. did they make a life in cuba or did they emigrate sand the others that survived through 1942, how many people stayed in cuba? >> i'm not sure dish. >> the first part of the question is what is the fate of the 22 who originally did pay the additional money for valid visas and got off and then the second part was --
>> [ inaudible question ]. >> so of the 22 and then also the 10,000 or 12,000 that in gem ended up getting into cuba, legally, what is their ultimate fate? so who is first? >> can you hear me? >> yes. >> i have three microphones here. so in terms of the 22 jewish passengers who paid the $500 and got off in cuba, all of them immigrated to the united states, but i believe the exception of one family. i was in havana in 19 -- excuse me in 2001 and i saw their graves. they are buried at the aroundkennot cemetery and there is one family that lived there and the rest i believe immigrated to the united states. there is one still alive in washington heights. her name is today vera hess.
and vera, interestingly enough, went to nursing school in cuba. and she donated to the holocaust museum her nursing diploma which is in spanish. any way, fast forward many years she settled in washington heights and when it turned to a spanish neighborhood and because of her training in cuba, she is able to treat the patients in spanish so she has made full circle. but to answer your question, they were all america bound with the exception of the one family. >> those who remained in cuba, they came as tourists of passengers in transit but they were always paying bribed to the policemen or to somebody organizing. none of them was deported. although they were afraid to be deported by paying, they were able to stay until they got the
american visas. and little by little, almost all of them went to the states. there is a case, there were many people from antwerp, from belgium, working diamonds and after the war the belgian government tried to invite them to return back to belgium but most of them preferred to go to new york. so almost all of them, very few remained in cuba. >> hi, my name issariel ramos and as the professor said my grandfather was the secretary of state in cuba at the time and he is the one that got a lot of the passengers off the ship. there were two little girls that got off and they never paid a cent and their father was a physician in cuba and he was able to get them off. there was an internal struggle in the cuban government, the cuban people and the government
were very pro-jewish and the only problem was, as the professor said, there was one part, which the secretary of state and the president of cuba, and on the other side, you have bennettez who was corrupt and also batista. so there was an internal struggle but the majority of the cuban government and people were pro-jewish and there could have been a lot done if the american embassy would have put prush on them this would have been solved but there are a lot of black and white areas that people weren't away. but she knows exactly. i was impressed by everything you said. you've done incredible research on it. i commend you on it. and cuban people were very pro-jewish. but unfortunately like all governments there is a corrupt side and a diplomatic and decent part of government.
my grand father was the secretary of state, and he did everything possible to -- he was able to get the two little girls without them paying money because legally they had a cuban citizenship because their father was a cuban citizen and a practicing physician. they dent know why they were on the ship or if their mother was on it. but they stayed there along with 20 other people. but in the long run, i feel that if the american government would have really wanted the ship to disembark in cuba or the united states, something would have happened. >> can you quantify, either by numbers or by percentage, how many were deported and died, how many survived, and how many would you put into the unknown column? >> okay. out of the 900 -- out of the 937
passengers, 254 died and almost all of them were deported. there were a few to auschwitz of the 254 and some that died in internment camps in france. there were two heart attacks in brussels. and there were two suicides. but almost all of the 254 were deported. so that seems like a small percent out of 937, however there are many ways -- well first of all, that is 254 too many, but it seems like a small percent but numbers can be deceiving. first of all, even though the majority survived, a very high number did not survive in full, meaning one family member did not survive. or more than one, like herb, herb and his brother survived. but if you minus -- and i'll get to england in a second.
if you minus the england passengers who were sent to england, although one that died in the blitz creek, and minus that number which is 288, you have the number 620 who were on the continent. in france, belgium and holland. i'm sorry with all of the numbers, but i want to answer your question. of the 620, there were about 27 that were out, about 583 st. louis passengers under their rule. and so if you minus 254 which is the number killed, you have 279 who survived if you talk about those under direct nauts rule in a sense -- nazi rule in a sense of the numbers. in terms of the england
passengers, we wanted to know what happened to every single england passenger. there were two romainan born passengers on the st. louis that ended up going back to romainia. they didn't know english and they went back to romainia. they did find documentation they were alive at the end of the war but they did survive. but that shows how we had to make sure every passenger could be accounted for. many of the now st. louis passengers in england were interned by the british because they were considered to be aliens, they were not considered german but they were interred in england. there was one who died into the blitz creek so we wanted to account for them. i wanted to give you numbers. so we can account for the fate of all 937 passengers to varying
degrees. many were actual survivors that gave us full storiys and when we completed this project about 20 years ago, there were 120 st. louis passengers that were alive, considerably less today but thank god there are still many that are?hkkai%rbalive. so what we can do is account for the fates of all 937. 254 were killed. >> would you like to ask a question, mr. karliner. >> yes. >> what was the ultimate fate of the captain who helped to save so many of the lives? did the nazis do anything to him and if he was survived was he honored by the jewish community in any way. >> what happened to captain schroeder. >> captain schroeder, the first get together in miami beach and
i put an ad in the paper in hamberg, germany, to find out about captain shader. i got a letter from his nephew, he passed away. and we invited the family of captain schrader to come to miami beach. and he came, there were about 300 that survived the st. louis and since i organized the get-together, the nephew presented me with a hat of captain schroeder, which i had for a long time and then i gave it to the museum in washington, which it is there. and one time i was invited to go back to hamberg, germany, and i met his sister there and she was very much involved with the st. louis and she sent me a beautiful book with the pictures of captain schroeder, and his
life story. also, i felt very sorry for captain schroeder and i wanted to put the question forth of the gentile. i sent the question, because captain schroeder was not in the war. it was before the war. but the petition of all that survived the st. louis and sent it back to israel and it was accepted. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> no, it was -- funny part is i found out captain schroeder was at high sea when the war broke out and the english wanted the ship but he managed the ship around the north sea to munst,
germany, and the ship cam back to -- came back to germany. i have a picture that captain schroeder gave to me, it was bombarded in hamberg and burned and with the captain next to the ship. also, he wrote a little book about the st. louis. and many survived the st. louis sent him after the war, packages and money because he was a decent man. and we really helped him too, because he helped us. >> i have two quick questions. one, is there evidence that president roosevelt turned down the opportunity to allow the st. louis to come in or is there written evidence, the memorandum or something to that effect, and
the second question, or related to this is what did the american press say while the st. louis was on the coast of miami beach, did they try to persuade the government or rally public opinion to allow the st. louis to come into the united states? >> to answer your second question, there was some rather wide coverage of the plight, but only very few journalists an edit -- and editors admitted to making an exception. in a sense reflecting the general mood in the public at the time. so no, the answer to your second question is no. in terms of your first question, again, there is a lot that has been written recently about fdr and the jews. more recently robert rosen
published a book called saving the ju -- the jews where he tries to address the issue in the context but to argue that behind the scenes president roosevelt was doing quite a bit both in europe and in cuba to save the jews and to deal with the limitations he had politically and legally. there is another book called refugees and rescue that notes an unpublished diary by an aide to president roosevelt that tries to highlight -- or the diary highlights how much roosevelt was concerned and tried to do for the plight of the jews, particularly before the break of the war. this is still an issue of a lot of debut and discussion and even controversy but i think more information is coming out
reflecting really what he did at that time. >> we'll have one final question. >> i wanted to understand the exact wording for this price, because even nowadays, i travel to costa rica, it was $150 to get off, to be there. so why was it $500 back in 1939? >> the question is regarding the additional $500. >> and she said it was legal. and the president said it was legal to accept $500 per person. >> yes. the question is about the cost of the actual visa, the $500 and the deal that within 48 hours, if they had come up with just under half a million dollars, that would be the disembarkation of the st. louis, how do you put
that price into context? >> according to the cuban laws of immigration, the cubans wanted only people that had capital. they didn't want the immigrants to become public charges so they demanded that each immigrant, would-be immigrant, would deposit $500 and they were supposed to be returned to them after two years so it was really with the cuban embassy, but first of all, it was very difficult for them to get $500. it was cheaper than $150 and they didn't know the difference and they didn't believe that the money would be returned to them. and so i don't know -- let's say 900 people, multiplied by $500, it was more or less 4500,
something like this. this was the money that was requested. but according to what i studied, actually they didn't want this. he didn't want this. they preferred to send out the boat. so it was -- the negotiations never came to a conclusion. >> one second, please. >> we were allowed ten marks to take out of germany. ten marks. how could we come up with $500. we were allowed to take out anything we wanted. we had to buy a $100 tax. but money, you were not allowed to take out. only 10 marks. >> do you want to say something?